UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH POLICY 04-01-09

CATEGORY:              FACILITIES

SECTION:                  Control and Assignment

SUBJECT:                 Off-Campus Conference Facilities

EFFECTIVE DATE:    April 26, 1994

PAGE(S):                    2

I.    SCOPE

      This policy applies to all conferences, workshops, meetings, seminars, or other

      University-sponsored educational programs open to the public and held at off-campus

      locations not owned or operated by the University of Pittsburgh.  For purposes of this

      policy, an Off-Campus University Conference is one for which the University, or any

      school, department, or affiliate thereof, participates actively in planning the facilities. 

      This policy establishes a procedure for determining that all off-campus facilities used for

      such educational events are accessible to individuals with disabilities and in compliance

      with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

II.   POLICY

      When contracting for off-campus rental sites for University-sponsored conferences, best

      efforts must be used to choose a location which is fully accessible or capable of

      accommodation, and meets all applicable ADA criteria.

      The University shall inquire as to accessibility of the facilities, or portion thereof, as part

      of any initial inquiry into potential rental sites.  When negotiating a contract for such a

      site, the University will require a certification from the owner of the off-campus site

      regarding accessibility of the facilities or any accessibility deficiencies.  In determining

      accessibility, federal guidelines shall be used as the evaluation criteria.

      The University will require the off-campus site owner to provide reasonable

      accommodations to any registrant requesting accommodation based on accessibility

      deficiencies of the chosen site, if any.

      The University conference planner should make best efforts to identify in advance the

      need for any auxiliary aids and services which are not a fixture of the off-campus facility

      and which may be provided by the conference, such as, but not limited to, large print

      materials or assistive listening devices.

      Any University personnel, including University faculty, administrators, staff, students, or

      their agents who plan off-campus conferences (Off-campus Conference Planner) shall,

      as part of the planning process, determine the accessibility of the proposed off-campus

      site.  See Procedure 04-01-09, Off-Campus Conferences.

      University planners shall use best efforts to choose a location which is fully accessible

      or which meets all applicable ADA criteria.  All other things being equal, preference will

      be given to a public accommodation which has in place an implementation plan to

      increase accessibility through barrier removal and structural modifications over a period

      of time.

      The Office of Conference Coordination will maintain a list of hotels, conference centers,

      and other potential meeting sites, which have provided accessibility information to the

      University.  The Office of Conference Coordination will request accessibility information

      on an annual basis of off-campus meeting facilities frequently used in the Pittsburgh

      areas and will advise off-campus sites that certification will be required for any University-

      sponsored off-campus educational event.  The Office of Conference coordination will

      maintain and update any accessibility information provided to it in response to these

      inquires.

      As part of the initial inquiry of all potential rental sites, University planners shall contact

      the Office of Conference Coordination to determine if a current certification is available

      for an off-campus site under consideration.  For those off-campus sites which have not

      provided a current certification to the Office of Conference Coordination within one year

      prior to the proposed off-campus educational event, and which are being considered

      beyond the initial inquiry state of planning an event, University conference planners must

      request certification as part of the evaluation process.  See Procedure 04-01-09.

      If it is determined by the evaluation process that the selected site has certain accessibility

      barriers, the University conference planner, in consultation with Facilities Planning

      Division, Facilities Management, or other knowledgeable sources, shall require the

      off-campus site to provide reasonable accommodations to any registrant requesting

      accommodation, in sufficient time to relocate the conference, if necessary.

      The University conference planner, if possible, shall ensure that each contract between

      the University and the owner of an off-campus site includes a representation and warranty

      of the owner that the entity is in compliance with the public accommodation provisions of

      the ADA and shall further contain a clause indemnifying the University (or an affiliated

      contracting entity) in the event the University (or the affiliated contracting entity) incurs

      any liability or loss arising out of or related to a claim of non-accessibility or claim related

      thereto under the ADA.

      Registration forms for off-campus conferences shall contain a section on requests for

      accommodation of registrants and shall contain the following language:

            "We encourage participation by all interested individuals and use best efforts to

            choose a location which meets the criteria of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

            Notwithstanding our best efforts, the program location may not satisfy all of the

            federal accessibility standards.  If you have a disability, advance notification of any

            accommodation will help us better serve you.  Inquires concerning accommodations

            should be addressed to (name, address, and phone number of University conference

            planner) at least two weeks in advance of the date of the conference."

      The Office of Conference Coordination will include a copy of this policy and associated

      procedure in its conference planning packets.

      Requests for variance from this policy shall be directed to the Chancellor and will only

      be granted in exceptional circumstances.

III.  REFERENCE

      Procedure 04-01-09, Off-Campus Conference Facilities